Article – Why I Love Farscape

TL;DR – This is a show that is bold, funny, weird, and heartwarming, one of the best Science Fiction shows I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

Farscape. Image Credit: The Jim Henson Company.

Review

Last year I had some time and sat down to write about my love for Star Trek Deep Space Nine and the impact it had on my like and joy of film/TV. Since then I have been looking for the next subject to write about and it never quite worked out. However, with the announcement that Farscape is about to drop on Amazon and a whole new generation of people will be able to understand what frell means, well sometimes life lines it up for you. With this in mind, today we will be exploring what makes Farscape so special for me, and why you should check it out.

So to set the scene, John Crichton (Ben Browder) is an astronaut from Earth, from a family of astronauts. He is testing a new slingshot engine on Farscape-1 hoping to use the Earth’s gravity to send astronauts across the Solar System. Only on this test flight he accidentally stumbles across a wormhole that flings him across the galaxy and into the middle of a war. On board the prison transport Moya, the prisoners Ka D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe), Pa-u Zotoh Zhaan (Virginia Hey), and Dominar Rygel XVI (Jonathan Hardy) have escaped and are trying to remove its control collar. While captain Bialar Crais (Lani Tupu) is sending Prowler fighter crafts to take the ship back before it could escape. The prisoners detect John’s unusual ship and bring it on board not before John accidentally crashed into one of the pursuing Prowlers sending it crashing into an asteroid (it may have had Crais’ brother on-board). Everyone was able to get the control collar off with thanks to Moya’s pilot Pilot (Lani Tupu) and she starbursts away, dragging one the Prowlers with then containing Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) a Sebacean that looks very human. Aeryn is declared contaminated and has to go on the run with the rest as they flee pursuit by an insane military commander while doing everything to find a way home.

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Project Daedalus

TL;DR –  This is both a beautiful episode and also a heartbreaking one, it also reveals all the cards Discovery has been holding.  

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Discovery: Project Daedalus

Review

As this season has progressed so far, it has felt like there were a number of disparate threads running through, and it was not entirely clear how, or if, they would all come together. Why is the Red Angel jumping through time and space? Why did it lead them to the Sphere? Why is it saving certain people? Why does Section 31 have so much power? What does Spock (Ethan Peck) have to do with all this? Today some if not all those questions are answered in a very interesting way.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s If Memory Serves, the crew of the USS Discovery had a choice to make. Do they hand Spock and Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) back to Section 31 and have them disassemble Spock’s mind, or become fugitives and technically commit treason. There is only one real choice. Well at the start of this week they are still on the run, but not without some allies, as a single shuttlecraft glides over a darkened hull of a ship running on low power. As the shuttle arrives Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) steps out to begin her integration of Spock to work out just what the heck is going on. She has footage of Spock killing people, but her tests make it clear that he is telling the truth. Something is wrong, and she is pretty sure where to start, so it is time to give Section 31 a wakeup call. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – The Orville: Blood of Patriots

TL;DR – A much more mature episode that we have seen in the past looking at the fallout of war and what that does to people

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Blood of Patriots. Image Credit: Fox.

Review

War is hell” it is one of those phrases that gets thrown around all the time by people trying to sound profound, without a real understanding of what that phrase actually means. War means making difficult decisions, one that haunts you at night, ones where there is not clear right option, and ones where even if you are doing the right thing, it may have disastrous consequences. Today’s episode puts the crew in the middle of such a quandary where they have to weigh in the choice of saving a hero or protecting a peace.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s episode Identity Part 2, The Planetary Union barely fought off an invasion and only stopped it because the Krill, a mortal enemy, was convinced that there was a bigger threat at play. This week we start off with the news from Admiral Perry (Ted Danson) that after decades of trying the Krill are finally ready to start peace treaty negotiations. This is a big deal because the thought of peace after so many years of war is something everyone can feel. The Orville is sent to a neutral location to meet with a Krill ship to begin the opening prelude to maybe having a peace treaty. As they arrive, they give the Krill a bit of trust and approach with deflectors down only to discover that the Krill ship is firing on one of their own shuttles. The shuttle askes to land, and when it does the crew find Orrin (Mackenzie Astin) and his daughter Lana (Aily Kei) in the badly disabled ship with only basic survival rations left. The Krill demand that they return the man because he is a terrorist putting Ed (Seth MacFarlane) in a very difficult position. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Light and Shadows

TL;DR –  The Search for Spock is over, long live The Search for Spock

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Discovery: Light and Shadows. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

We have reached the mid-point in the season, the point where the story should be coming into focus and propelling itself into the back half of the season, and today I think we got some of that, though maybe we got more questions than answers.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s episode The Sounds of Thunder, we discovered that the Red Angel is actually a being using some very advanced, possibly future technology. This means that there is a time travel component to their travels, which is backed up with the traces of tachyon particles found at every location it has visited. This means that the Red Angel might be from the future and might be messing with the timeline, and that is possibly not very good at all. So they decide to attack this on two fronts, Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) goes back home to Vulcan to find Spock (Ethan Peck), and Pike (Anson Mount) decides to stay and explore the slight fracture in time around Kaminar which is when everything falls apart. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – The Orville: Identity Part 2

TL;DR – We get what is not only the best episode of The Orville but one of the best episodes of Science Fiction I have seen.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Identity Part 2. Image Credit: Fox.

Review

Writing Science Fiction shows seems like it would be easy, I mean they are just westerns set in space, right? Alas, they are much more difficult than you think. You have to world build, but you can’t overwhelm the audience, every part of your universe has to have logical consistency, you need to fill that universe with interesting characters, and you need to always have in the back of your mind what future you want to present. Then, of course, you have to create stories that support every part of this. It is this alchemy that draws me to Science Fiction as a genre, and tonight we got to see an exemplar of a show doing it all.    

So to set the scene, in last week’s episode Identity Part 1, just about everything we knew about The Orville got turned on its head. This is because Isaac’s (Mark Jackson) mission on the USS Orville was not about seeing if the Planetary Union was good enough for Kaylon to join, but to see if biological lifeforms were worth preserving at all. Well after some consideration the Kaylon’s decided no it wasn’t and that they should make way in their need to expand. This led to them boarding the Orville, killing many of the crew and taking the rest hostage, as the ship runs vanguard in front of an extermination fleet headed for Earth. In today’s episode we find out how, if at all possible, they can stop them, and the repercussions of such a brutal betrayal. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: The Sounds of Thunder

TL;DR –  We get a powerful look at Saru and his world, but it does still feel like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Discovery: The Sounds of Thunder. Image Credit: CBS Studios

Review

Star Trek Discovery is a show that is juggling a lot of different stories all at once. Yes, we have the main drive of the red lights and the red angel. However, we also have The Klingons, The Mycelium Network, Section 31, and more. As the season has gone one, it has been interesting to see how the show brings all these different elements together to help with the central premise or using the central premise as an excuse to look at these different side plots, depending on your perspective. One of those side plots has been the life and biology of Saru’s people and today all of that comes to a head.   

So to set the scene, since we were first introduced to Saru (Doug Jones) we knew there was something out of place with him and why he was the only Kelpien in Starfleet. Over Season One we found out that there was a devastating dynamic on his planet where Kelpiens were not the dominant species. We learned about his threat ganglia derived from the biological need to stay safe. All of this fell into place in the Short Trek The Brightest Star, when we discovered that there were two species living on the Kelpian homeworld, one that preys on the other and that a certain point in their lives all Kelpiens are sacrificed to the Ba’ul. It is murder disguised as ideology, as the Kelpiens believe that this is the will of the universe called the great balance, and they are going to die anyway in the Vahar’ai, so what is the matter. However, in An Obol For Charon, we discovered that the biological shift that triggers the culling was not actually fatal, and every part of Kelpien society was a lie. At the start of this week’s episode Saru is discovering just what biological changes are happening to his body now he does not have a threat ganglia, only for another red signal to blare out, only this time it is coming from his homeworld. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – The Orville: Identity Part 1

TL;DR – Today we the best episode of the series so far that builds on everything that has come before and leaves you desperate for more.     

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Orville: Identity Part 1. Image Credit: Fox.

Review

One of the few great things about 2019 is all the great Science Fiction content we are getting across the mediaverse at the moment. One of the interesting examples of this has been The Orville, a show about a bunch of misfits trying to do their best as they explore the universe. It is a show filled with flawed people, but it is also a show filled to the brim with charm. In today’s episode Identity, we get a show that takes everything we know and then flips it on its head.

So to set the scene, it is family time on the USS Orville, with Isaac (Mark Jackson) babysitting Ty (Kai Wener) and Marcus (BJ Tanner) while Claire (Penny Johnson Jerald) works late in sickbay. Everything was going well, bar the fact that Isaac always wins, and so Claire thinks it is the best time to tell the boys that they are dating, which of course they already knew. However, all of this falls apart when Isaac has a seizure and shutdowns in front of the family. There are no life signs, but then is that normal for a Kaylon? No one really knows. In a last-ditch effort, the Planetary Union authorises The Orville to head to Isaac’s home planet and hope that they can fix him. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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